The Essentials | City Weekly's Entertainment Picks Dec. 4-10 

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nVISUAL ARTS
nBy Brian Staker
nIt’s inescapable: The artist’s brush, in some ways as much as the writer’s metaphorical “pen,” tells a story. At some point, that story refers to autobiography, even if only through the choice of what topics to address. But in the hands of MARK ENGLAND, it becomes problematic to define where the individual—depicted in miniature—ends and where the cultural, historical and geographical environment that defines the citizen begins.
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Evolving from pencil sketches on oversize paper, these oils map no country you could possibly fly over, but rather our relationship to a complicated world. He makes use of techniques from geography, history and even LDS symbolism to create sprawling landscapes that conflate Salt Lake City with Beverly Hills and other even more disparate and surreal locales. Viewers are left to ponder whether a bunch of bananas symbolizes a “banana republic,” and why the South Pole is at the top of the canvas.

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England’s last show at the Art Barn in 2006 was combined with Ben Behunin ceramics. This year’s pairing with the quilted batik landscapes of Anne Muñoz demonstrates how versatile his art is in its ability to allude to other media, from landscape photography to the mapmaker’s art.

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Exhibited widely over the last few years, England’s skewed maps are becoming recognizable to local audiences, yet never really familiar. His painting “Biography” was recently purchased by Salt Lake County for its permanent collection.

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Mark England: Paintings w/ Anne Muñoz quilted batiks @ Finch Lane Gallery, 1325 E. 100 South, 596-5000, through January 2.

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MUSIC
nBy Dallas Robbins
nBefore we get carried away with holiday cheer, the Utah Symphony is reminding us that some of the most soul-stirring music is not always about babes in mangers, reindeer or winter wonderlands. MOZART’S REQUIEM is a funeral mass that became his own swan song, with the current performance marking the 217th anniversary of Mozart’s death.

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Composed under mysterious circumstances, the Requiem was popularized in the stage play and film Amadeus, which showed Mozart giving his dying instructions to a jealous colleague on how to finish it. As one of his most popular works, it pops up in the most unlikely of places, recently sampled on Ludacris’ “Coming 2 America,” and highly influential in Daddy Roach and Gimme’s “Lacrimosa.”

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Bringing us back to basics, the Utah Symphony has gathered top-notch talent in bringing this masterpiece to the masses, including mezzo Cynthia Hanna (who recently finished a stint in Bizet’s Carmen) and soprano Maureen McKay (whom The Washington Post referred to as, “smart, sexy, and thoroughly charming”). Rounded out by local boy George Dyer as tenor and Derrick Parker as bass, all will be conducted by world-renowned Pietari Inkinen.

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In addition, the performance will include Debussy’s pre-modernist work La Damoiselle élue (The Blessed Damosel), which had originally been labeled “bizarre” by his 19th-century contemporaries, along with Messiaen’s spiritually melancholy Les Offrandes oubliées (The Forgotten Ones), a minor masterpiece from the 1930s. The night should be a refreshing refuge in the midst of all the downtown holiday hustle.

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Utah Symphony: Mozart’s Requiem @ Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, 355-ARTS, Dec. 5-6. UtahSymphony.org

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LITERARY
nBy Jacob Stringer
nThere is something special in the chilly holiday air that motivates people to come together. Name a community group or organization and I assure you, there are grand plans for some kind of gathering, some kind of celebration, some kind of inspirational happening.

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To get you started on the right foot, the Main Library and Shops & Services at Library Square join forces to bring together artists, authors, film screenings and stage performances at the annual LITERARY LUMINARIES. Artists including James Christensen, Laurel Hart and Nathan Hale will share their experiences and sign books alongside authors such as Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Shannon and Dean Hale (Rapunzel’s Revenge), Robyn Buttars (Simply Jenny), Carolyn Campbell (Family Circle & People magazine), Leslie Brimhall, Corinne Humphrey (The Tao of Rudy), Jordan Hinckley (The Coffeehouse Philosophers) and Jennifer Adams (101 Things to Do with Gelatin) in intimate fireside settings around the library space.

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Other happenings include SLC Film Center’s presentation of filmmaker Bo Landin—who will be on hand to answer questions after the screening of his cinematic interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth—and the ever-popular live performance of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale told of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And just in case you already might be neck deep in a hectic holiday shopping crunch, The Friends of The City Library also will have all their new or like-new books, movies and music on sale.

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Literary Luminaries @ Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, 524-8200, Dec. 5-6. SLCPL.org

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here&now Other New Happenings This Week

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ALTERNATIVE PRESS FEST A gathering of local publishers, writers and artists to discuss Utah’s ’zine scene and other nontraditional publishing options. Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, 524-8200, Friday, Dec. 5, 1-5 p.m. SLCPL.org

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HOLIDAYS ON BROADWAY East Broadway Shopping District businesses team up to offer live music, treats and entertainment for your gift-gathering pleasure. 300 South between State Street and 500 East, Friday, Dec. 5, 3-9 p.m.

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THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA The Tony Award-winning 2005 musical follows a mother and daughter on a romantic tour through 1950s Italy. Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 200 S. 1400 East, 581-6961, Dec. 5-20. PioneerTheatre.org

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL Ebenezer Scrooge, the ghosts and company make one of their many seasonal appearances in West Valley City. Hale Centre Theatre, 3333 S. Decker Lake Dr., 984-9000, Dec. 5-23. HaleCentreTheatre.org

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HOLIDAY JOINT ARTIST SHOW Ken Sanders Rare Books hosts a sampling of the local arts scene, including Trent Alvey, Leia Bell, Trent Call and many more. Ken Sanders Rare Books, 268 S. 200 East, 521-3819, Reception: Dec. 5, 6-9 p.m. KenSandersBooks.com

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LESLIE BRIMHALL The Bountiful native in a “Literary Luminaries” discussion of self-publishing her new children’s picture book, Mads Madsen. Main Library, 210 E. 400 South, 524-8200, Saturday, Dec. 6, 11 a.m. SLCPL.org

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SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM Playwright Maripat Donovan’s favorite nun leads a comic forensic quest to Bethlehem to discover what happened to the Magi’s gold. Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-2787, Dec. 9-14. ArtTix.org

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LITERARY READINGS & LIVE PERFORMANCE Poets Jean Howard and Katharine Coles team up with Plan-B Theatre Company actors for a creative evening. The Leonardo, 209 E. 500 South, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m., free to the public. TheLeonardo.org tttt

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